Every two years, Canadian Pagans from coast-to-coast gather in a host city to celebrate The Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering.
This guide will help you prepare a bid for your city.
About Gaia Gathering
Celebrating Canadian Pagan Identity
The Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering is entirely Canadian and national in focus. Speakers, scholarship and panel discussions topics are all Canadian, and speak to the experience and identity of being Pagan in Canada.
Gaia Gathering helps build a strong future together by offering:
- An opportunity for Canadian Pagans normally separated by geography to meet face-to-face, network, and share personal and community experiences.
- A place where Pagan communities come together to tackle the issues affecting modern Pagans today within a uniquely Canadian context.
- A celebration of Canadian Pagan identity through art, music, scholarship, and culture.
- A showcase of regional paganism by a host city to the rest of Canada.
Gaia Gathering is Peer-Oriented
Gaia Gathering is structured differently from other Pagan conferences, it is peer-oriented. This approach was deliberately chosen for three reasons:
- To facilitate communication and networking possibilities for people from diverse areas, addressing diversity of Pagan expression in Canada.
- To address the subject’s people really want to talk about, rather than deciding in advance what’s important. In this way, we attempt to not be hierarchical.
- To eliminate people being ‘talked at’ by ‘experts’. The conference is about exchanging ideas and open dialogue.
Is my City Eligible?
Before deciding to submit a Host City Bid. Please ensure that you can meeting the following criteria for eligibility.
1. Host City Committee
The first step in ensuring a successful Host City Bid is to have a dedicated Host City Committee (HCC) that will serve as the liaison between the local Pagan community and the Gaia Gathering National Board during the proposal process, and the conference if your proposal is selected by the General Membership.
- You must have a minimum of 5 members in your HCC
- Your committee should represent the various Pagan groups in your community.
- Two members must be selected as HCC Coordinators and will sit on the Gaia Gathering National Board (if proposal selected)
- The HCC Coordinators must be organized, able to work co-operatively, have good communication skills and able to work to deadlines.
* Please note that with every city there may be several Pagan groups that do not associate with one another. With this in mind, there is an expectation that the HCC will make every effort to transcend those differences and include people from different groups.
The conference happens Victoria day weekend, every two years. We have not, and will not change the conference date as it makes it easier for people across the country to attend.
The next conference will be Victoria Day Weekend (May 17, 2019 to May, 20, 2019).
3. Your City
Does your city meet the following requirements?
- There must be an airport in the Host City
- Must have a Hotel & Conference Centre that can accommodate a conference of up to 150 guests and attendees.
- Affordable transportation options to and from Airport and Conference Centre
- There is an active Pagan community willing to get involved in fundraising and volunteer during the conference.
4. Hotel and Conference Centre
It has been the Board’s experience that a Hotel with a conference centre is the most convenient for our attendees. Given the nature of the conference programming and scheduling meeting rooms should be as close to one another as possible, so attendees can move from quickly and easily from one room to another.
- Large Conference Room that can seat a minimum of 150 people and serve multiple functions/events i.e. opening ceremonies, keynote address, evening banquet, academic stream, AGM, etc.
- Three Smaller Panel/Breakout Rooms that can seat a minimum of 50 people to accommodate panel/roundtable discussion with movable table and chairs
- Hotel Rooms can be rented and booked by attendees at a reasonable cost with Wi-Fi service and laundry service available to guests.
- Restaurant and Food Service in close proximity to Conference accommodating various dietary options.
- Budget Constraint: Maximum $5,000 (can be adjusted based on fundraising goals and results)
What is my Host City Committee responsible for if awarded the bid?
- Liaise between National Board and local Pagan community
- Enlist Conference Volunteers
- Coordinate and plan opening and closing ceremonies
- Coordinate and fund evening entertainment
- Coordinate and plan vendors
- Coordinate and plan art show
- Propose conference theme
- Propose panel themes
- Inviting and coordinating panel participants
How will the National Board help us?
The National Board has be elected by the General Membership at the last conference. It is responsible for ensuring the Conference meets the current vision and goals as set out in our by-laws. The National Board will support the Host City Committee by:
- Sell Tickets to the Conference
- Source National Sponsors
- Coordinate and fund Hotel and Conference Centre
- Coordinate and run Academic Stream
- Coordinate and fund required audio visual equipment or services
- Coordinate and fund the evening banquet
- Selecting Conference Keynote(s) and coordinating & funding their travel & accommodations
- Maintaining the Conference Website
- Preparing and Printing the Conference Program
- Promoting the Conference Nationally
What information should I include in my bid?
A successful Host City Bid submission will include the following information in the Bid document:
- Host City Committee
- Name, Phone and/or Email of each HCC member
- A brief bio of each member listing profession experiences and involvement in the local Pagan community.
- Two members identified as HCC Coordinators.
- What makes your city a good choice for hosting the Conference?
- What is unique and special about the city that others will want to see or experience?
- What public Pagan events currently happen in your city?
- List of Airports in the City
- List of transportation options i.e. airport shuttles, taxis, buses, subway, etc.
- Local Pagan Community
- How will your community provide a welcoming atmosphere for conference attendees?
- Do you have a thriving pagan business community?
- List of potential local keynote speakers.
- List of possible panel discussions.
- List possible art, music, and cultural/social events.
- Hotels and Conference Centres
- List 3 potential hotels and conference centres that meet the minimum criteria.
- For each hotel and conference centre include:
- Estimated budget for Conference Facilities
- Estimated rate of hotel room nightly
- Proposed Theme
- Propose a theme that would represent your city and Pagan community well.
- Why does this theme work well?
- Proposed Fundraising Activities
- List of proposed fundraising activities along with estimated fundraising goals in dollars.
- Estimate number of volunteers that you can enlist
- How many of these volunteers can work at the conference?
- How will you enlist these volunteers?
Bid Submission Process
- Bid Submission Deadline
- Bids Reviewed and Short-listed by Gaia Gathering Board
The Gaia Gathering Board will review all bids submitted to ensure all requirements have been met.If any requirement has not been met, or any item of your Host City Proposal is unclear the Gaia Gathering Board may contact you. As such, a representative of your potential Host City Committee must be available to review the bid, or answer questions.You will be notified if your proposal has met all the requirements and short listed for the General Membership Vote.
- Host City Proposals Presented to General Membership for Vote
All short-listed Host City Proposals will be made available to the General Membership for review and a vote by April 15, 2018. All General Members will be asked to vote for the Host City Proposal the feel will best host the Conference either by online or mail in form by April 30, 2018.
- Vote Results and New Host City Announced
The Gaia Gathering Board will tabulate all votes and provide results to members via email and make the announcement of the new Host City on the Gaia Gathering Website by May 5, 2018.